The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda has called for teamwork among Rakai District leaders in order to deliver better services to the people they lead.
While meeting the district leaders during her working visit to Rakai District Local Government on Thursday, Hon. Babalanda said she was disturbed when she got a report from the area Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms. Sarah Kiyimba briefing her about the poor status of service delivery in the district.
“However, I need to state here that its all our responsibility as leaders to work as a team to transform our areas. It might be true that as a district you may have received few donations from H.E the President but this does not mean that government is not mindful about the people of Rakai,” the Minister said.
Hon. Babalanda also reminded the leaders that it was not merely a routine visit to their district but as the national chairperson of the APEX platform, it was her cardinal responsibility to audit the delivery of public services in Rakai and Uganda at large.
The Apex platform is a framework in the office of the President that aims at strengthening government’s overall leadership in public policy management and promotion of good governance practices in public institutions.
“In every quarter of the financial year, government releases funds to support local governments basing on your workplans. Rakai is one of the 146 districts in Uganda that receive funds from the central government. It however, disturbs my thinking to hear that Rakai has stagnated due to what you say is caused by ‘government doing little for the people of Rakai,” she stated.
“I wish nonetheless to commend the Area Members of Parliament for ensuring that the national budget is passed and that Rakai as well benefits from the national cake. If Rakai is not getting the public funding it means that the Members of Parliament are not doing their part.”
Hon. Babalanda also tasked the Office of the RDC in Rakai to always audit the delivery of services in the district while the Members of Parliament in Kampala should support the government’s proposals.
“If the district continues to rot; the RDCs will be to blame for not acting against the corrupt. We cannot betray the President and the NRM government. I’m here with the State House Anti Corruption to take action on those doing a disservice and demobilization to government programs,” she said.
The Minister also requested the NRM leaders in the district to ensure that the party manifesto is implemented before the next general election.
“I know the challenges you face as NRM leaders but this is because NRM as a party does not have sources of income. The party relies on donations which is at the same time not sufficient to facilitate activities at the grassroots. Do not think that the NRM has forgotten you. The party just does not have the capacity to support your activities. But this does not stop you from doing your patriotic activities and ensuring that the NRM Manifesto is implemented,” Hon. Babalanda revealed, before directing the RDC that while on her visits to lower government levels, to always involve the NRM Chairpersons to undertake supervision and monitoring activities in their respective areas.
The Rakai LCV Chairperson Samuel Ssekamwa Kagwa told the Minister that as the district they were thankful to Government for having increased their funding of the 2022/2023 budget from Shs39 billion to Shs44 billion. He however said that the funding was still low given the magnitude of the services they must deliver to the people.
“Hon. Minister, many roads here are inaccessible and they have become a thorn in our throats. Due to a small resource envelope, little funds have always been allocated to these roads to make them passable that is why their maintenance has always been unsatisfactory,” Mr. Ssekamwa asserted.
On the issue of health services in the area, the chairperson said as a district they have Rakai Hospital as their main health facility and that it needed to be expanded to effectively deliver services to the people. He said the hospital serves the entire population of Rakai.
“Parish Development Model is also being implemented. We thank Government for the concern of our poor wananchi to improve their livelihood, 73 SACCOs, 1,271 groups , 30,930 households were disbursed with Shs652,429,224,” Mr. Ssekamwa added.
In the same meeting, the Rakai Deputy RDC, Mr. Watch Peter Kaswabuli informed Hon. Babalanda that his office had received reports of ghost teachers who were enjoying taxpayers’ money.
“My office and the office of the District Internal Security Organisation (DISO) are going to give you a conclusive report of the ghost workers we are investigating,” he said.
The Senior Presidential Advisor on Greater Masaka Region Affairs, Ms. Justine Nameere advised that Rakai needed a special program to work out its challenges.
“We have seen this working out in other areas,” she said.
Mr. Ssemanda Wangi Elisa, the Dyango Town Council Chairperson, who represented the LCIII Chairpersons in the district told the Minister that corruption and internal bickering among leaders were letting down better service delivery in the area.
“The infights among us are making it hard for us to fulfill our duties,” Mr. Ssemanda said.
Brighton Ninsiima, the Kiziba Sub County Mayor also reported to the Minister that some district leaders connive to misuse government funds.
The leaders also highlighted water scarcity and poor information flow as other challenges faced by the district.
The meeting was also attended by NRM Chairperson Rakai District, Mr. Mugabi Robert Benon, Rakai Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr. William Kamara, district security heads, LCIII Chairpersons, councilors among other leaders.